Housing Crisis Needs to be Solved without Risking Climate Damage

The former Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir David King, has said that the UK needs to solve its housing crisis without putting climate at risk at an Offsite Alliance event as part of this year’s UK Construction Week.

As the Government has set targets of 300,000 houses to be built a year and there is a current shortfall of 100,000, the Offsite Alliance has laid down the gauntlet to the construction industry to put offsite manufacture at the heart of its solutions, or risk blowing carbon budgets.

At the inaugural Offsite Alliance round table hosted at the 2021 UK Construction Week, the panel discussed how offsite construction can achieve delivery in approximately 50% less time than traditional delivery with zero waste to landfill as components are manufactured in facilities, with less travel to and from site for workers and fewer deliveries required.

The discussion was opened by former UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor and Chair of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group Sir David King who said: “Within the next five years we must make critical decisions and take bold steps to safeguard our planet for future generations. At the same time this country is clearly in an acute housing crisis, so the question is how can we solve that crisis without risking further damage to our climate?

“Simply put, we have no carbon budget remaining. We must find innovative solutions that put climate at the heart of their thinking whether that be building houses or driving cars. What we do now will determine the future not just of this country but of our planet.”

Gaynor Tennant, Co-Founder and Chair of the Offsite Alliance also commented: “Often the construction industry is one paralysed by fear, different is scary when margins are so tight. But the challenge we face is clear, how can we build at the rate required without causing irreparable damage to our planet?

“What is clear is that traditional building methods simply cannot meet that brief and so offsite manufacture must be at the heart of the Government industry response.”

During the event the panel also considered how the industry can urgently address the current skills gap to ensure that offsite can provide solutions at scale.

The round table was the first of its kind held by the Offsite Alliance and hosted as part of this year’s UK Construction Week held at the NEC, Birmingham.

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